Vacation

I’m on vacation, and it would be nice to have a beverage with my brother, but I am still going strong on this project, in abstaining from alcohol, if not in posting updates. At this point, it’s all about proving that I can actually do the whole year, but I’ve become bored with the project because I haven’t put time into the active prospective (writing and thinking over the intersections).

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First Quarter Progress

3 months down, 9 months to go.

In the first aspect of this project, not drinking, I have thus far had 100% success.

Blogging about it, however, has been much more spotty. I’ve had ideas come to me here or there, but kept forgetting to take action and actually write them down. I also didn’t set a schedule for myself, so this half of the project was vaguely doomed from the get go.

I had a phase a while back where I dreamed about being in situations where I drink, and kept refusing to do so, but if I came into the dream a drink or two into the story, I felt guilty for forgetting that I wasn’t supposed to be drinking.

I’m not a fan of failing, so perhaps these are the great nieces and nephews of nightmares – distantly related but you can see something similar in how they look at you.

I have a vacation coming up this month, as well as my birthday (the day doubles as a celebration of my friends’ marriage), so I’ll be around alcohol, but it’s been in my house this whole time without me even thinking about stopping this impulsive and silly quest, so I don’t expect any mishaps.

I have a friend who works at a liquor store (the same one who I used to drink with every Tuesday, but now I generally have tea) who is already stock piling aging beers for us to try in 2018.

Travel Frustrations

I made it through my trip to Boston without caving to my want to have a Sam Adams. I mean, I am currently existing through am layover at YYZ, so I could, in theory, have a drink here (which would be grand, as there are too many humans and I can’t reliably distract myself with anything productive) or on the plane, but not only am I even more determined to succeed, I also hate the captive market pricing of the flight industry.

Anxiety is not going to be as big of an issue for this challenge as I thought; I still experience it, but I don’t NEED a drink to get through the situation (Is never thought this was tue case, but it is nice to have confirmation). On the one hand that is brilliant, but on the other, I have no excuse to fall back on besides just wanting a drink.

10 more months to go.

Not Drinking Enough

I woke up less than an hour ago and was immediately angry with myself that I was hungover.

Being hungover sucks. From the moment you wake, you feel like garbage; your limbs and mind are sluggish, and you know the day is going to be unnecessarily difficult.

Of course, it wasn’t long before I realized my assumption was incorrect. I haven’t had booze since last year. I’m likely just dehydrated.

This doesn’t surprise me. I have been having a problem with keeping hydrated, given I hate having to go to the bathroom every twenty minutes and am bad at striking a balance between visiting the lav an obscene amount of times and not feeling like crap for no good reason.

It doesn’t help that my body doesn’t seem to be adept at feeling thirst. Sometimes I will go all day likely needing water, only to start getting a headache, which will be my only cue that my body is missing dihdrogren monoxide. Even when I know that’s what it craves, I can get distracted (case in point: I meant to fill up my water bottle before sitting down to write this post, but there it is, a couple feet away and empty, which I try to finish this post before leaving for work).

So at first I was upset at myself for overindulging, which is a strange way to wake up, especially after having survival-based dreams, brought on by watching a handful of The Walking Dead episodes just before bedtime. Now I’m further upset that I am not taking good enough care of myself, but secretly I am glad I didn’t have to pull my tired butt outta bed in the middle of the night to go pee. Sometimes I wake up feeling dehydrated even after going through that annoyance.

So, if nothing else, this post is a reminder to drink some water, as I am about to do the same, and mostly a pondering of at why I immediately assumed I caused this by overindulgence instead of under hydration.

(Obviously the title of this post is talking about water. Just to clarify. Because I still having had any booze, and to some that might feel like not enough.)

Increased Reading

I’ve read 19 books so far this year.

If this number doesn’t seem high to you, let me assure you that it is high to me. I am a slow reader, and am now on track to finish about 170 books this year. Last year, I read about 120.

There are a few factors that have increased my literature intake: I am able to borrow audiobooks from my library, and listen to about a book a week that way while I am in transit or taking walks. I started a project where I do Weekly Entertainment Wrap Up videos about the things I have read, watched, and listened to, and feel pressure to have at least a couple of books to talk about each week.

And I’m not drinking anymore.

Reading and having an alcoholic beverage used to be a weekly affair (it was a Wednesday Tradition that took place in my bath tub, with the evidence posted to Instagram), but if I get to the stage of being tipsy, reading is no longer enjoyable because I am no longer taking in as much information as is desired. Ever watch a movie while drunk and then recall approximately none of the plot? Given that reading is a little bit more work, it is easy to stop working when you realize you aren’t absorbing the text.

Now, when I come home from a weekly dinner and movie date at my friend’s house, I can still get in a chapter or two before bed because I’m not tipsy. I don’t always, but I have the option to do so. My head is clear more often, so there are more opportunities to read.

So obviously I can’t attribute this uptake in novel consumption purely to the absence of alcohol, but it is helping.

Conversational Shorthand

Something that I have noticed while trying to write about this experience is that there is a cultural conversational shorthand in my area of the world in which “drinking” tends to mean “drinking alcohol”. It has made me curious as to why this is, but also at a loss as to how to look up this very precise etymological quirk.

Instead, I am going to make some wildly unfounded hypothesises, but would very much like to know if any of them are at all close, so if you have a lead on this subject, please do let me know.

Hypothesis One:
“Would you like to get a drink with me?” is an adult asking another adult on a date, and our culture associates dating with drinking, as part of the “getting to know you” phase.

Hypothesis Two:
“A Drink” is short hand because any other fluid intake is usually explained in context.
Examples:
-I think I need some water.
-I need my morning coffee to function.
-Tea is an import part of curling up with a book.

Hypothesis Three:
“A Drink” is short for “Alcoholic Drink,” whereas “I would like a drink of water” explains the exact liquid required.
After watching characters on Grey’s Anatomy having horrid days, we always know that one character asking the other, “hey, wanna go for a drink?” means that they are going to Joe’s for alcohol (although it will vary between scotch, tequila, and beer depending on the character and the day).

Hypothesis Four:
Saying “A Drink” is easier than specifying something for which the other person might not be in the mood, or means you haven’t decided what beverage you want. This does not explain on it’s own why “a drink” seems to mean “an alcoholic drink,” but mixed with the above hypothesises, it could be a factor.

Side note: there is a similar cultural phenomena of asking someone to go for coffee, but this does not bind them to having to drink a coffee-based beverage. This seems to be the alcohol-free version of this shorthand. (Or, in the case of Luke Cage, it is code for sex. Being demisexual, I would not pick up on that cue and things would get really awkward really quickly.)

If you have any random (or factually-backed) hypothesises, please let me know, as I am fascinated by this turn of phrase.

 

“I’ll Still Like You…”

I have a standing plan every Tuesday night to visit a friend I have had for nearly 20 years, have dinner, and watch a movie. Since she works in a liquor store, this has also meant that she has plenty of delicious things for us to try out, so she has first hand knowledge of what she is selling at work. I have always been happy to help.

Of course, I let her know back in November that my help in this area would not be available in 2017, and she was happy to switch to drinking tea instead.

Before my partner moved into my apartment, I usually went home after this movie night instead of sleeping at his place. This wasn’t because I was going to be late, as he is a night owl and wouldn’t have minded. It was because I was worried that he wouldn’t want to be around me if my host had been too generous with our beverages, as I didn’t want to do or say anything that is unlike my sober self. It isn’t as though he’s never seen me drinking before; we drink together, at home and in public. I just got self conscious, because drinking Kathy is more talkative and over-stimulating than sober Kathy, and I hate to be a bother.

He let me know something to me after I voiced this fear that became a running line between us: “I’ll still like you and want to be around you when you’ve been drinking”.

I was now more than welcome to sleep at his place, which is where I slept pretty much every other night. I was accepted for being a little different when I drink (who isn’t?) without it having to be a bad thing. I wasn’t hurting anyone. I wasn’t hurting him by talking too much.

Now, when I leave for these Tuesday meet ups, he informs me “I’ll still like you and want to be around you when you’re sober,” which is both adorable and fortunate, considering we live under the same roof now.